Dr. Phil and Oprah, move over! People might be waking up to a need to know and understand themselves and others more, and re-connect with what happiness and success really mean to them, but they don’t need to go on TV anymore!
There is another trend that’s making its presence recognized as a powerful tool: Coaching. Coaching is known by many names depending on the specialty or the niche. You may have heard of executive coaching, corporate coaching, business coaching, life coaching, success coaching … and the list goes on. Coaching brings personal and professional development as well as business and organizational development to another level than training and self-help programs. Coaching is highly customized and happens right in your own environment, where you face your challenges every day.
One comparison I often use when explaining coaching is that having a coach is like having a personal trainer. The personal fitness trainer helps you clarify your fitness goals and helps you stay motivated. On the other hand, a coach works with you in any area that’s important to you, whether personal or business and quite often both. The difference is that whereas the personal trainer designs a fitness program for you, a coach elicits the solutions and the awareness from within you.
Coaching is one of the fastest growing professions. From an organizational standpoint, statistics show 50 % of all American businesses use business and executive coaching as part of their professional development programs. And companies have reported that their return on investment was 5 times the amount invested. Testimonials on various coaching sites also attest to the power of coaching
So why have a coach? The underlying motivation is to better themselves, whether it is in their career/business, or personal lives. We, as a society, are so flooded with information, obligations, decisions to make that we have lost our ability to go within and seek the answer. A coach facilitates this “conversation” with yourself and allows the right solution and the right action for you to come through.
There was a time in my life when I could have used a coach. As a newly appointed President, I had to adjust to this position but was not sure how to go about it. So I did what I knew best: work harder. Stress built up quickly and I eventually decided to leave. Now imagine if I would have had the opportunity of working with an executive coach? A coach would have listened and allowed me to come up with my own solutions hence creating greater commitment. That’s powerful!
Learning to manage stress and bring more balance and well-being into their lives is not the only reason people consider working with a coach. Some people want to learn to develop better inter-personal skills or work on leadership skills while others are considering changing careers but are unsure where to start, and others seek clarity on setting and achieving goals.
Keep in mind that coaching is not therapy. Coaching is about moving forward and although coaching looks at beliefs, it is not about solving past issues. Since my departure as President, I’ve had the opportunity of working with a coach myself. Going through the process of being coached by a trained professional coach is an incredible journey into self-awareness. Powerful questions asked just at the right moment can put someone into a spiral of internal inquiries, opening the door to a greater awareness and leading to a higher level of development.
Marcel Proust said: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”
This new set of eyes is about being ready and willing to view our assumptions, behaviour and attitudes in a challenging way by discerning what is serving us well and what is not. Self-reflection, in an organized and thought provoking manner, can inspire the most skeptical person.
That’s how I work. I listen to what my clients say; I allow them to explore ideas and perspectives without judging. I support them in challenging their own beliefs and embracing new ones that strengthen their goals and intentions, and I help design strategies that empower them and create results.
If you are considering working with a coach, it is important to understand that it is about you. Coaches will guide you and may suggest a particular action but they will not do the work for you. They will work with your own “inner coach” to manifest solutions and awareness. You just need to allow yourself to listen to your intuitive nudges and vocalize your thoughts into meaningful actions and powerful results.
Copyright RISE International All Rights Reserved
Elizabeth Skronski, CBC, MBC is an executive and personal coach, facilitator and inspirational speaker. She is the founder of RISE International and co-founder of Lightworks for Well Being. Elizabeth’s passion is to inspire organizations and individuals. To connect with the energy of Inspiration, contact Elizabeth at eskronski@riseinternational or by calling her at 905-821-4361. Elizabeth also invites you to visit her websites at www.riseinternational.ca and www.lightworksforwellbeing.com to learn more about her services.